Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake, Darling.
Quick question. It is officially October. The annual Pumpkin Love Fest has begun in earnest. So. I ask you. Is this the time to shun dessert in favor of green kale chia fiber smoothies and ginger laced cabbage detox soup?
I can answer that.
The answer is no.
As in N. As in O. NO. Nope. Nada. Not gonna happen.
Because I, my darling, am a temptress. I am not going to write about healthy Fall desserts today, or some virtuous fat-free bean brownie with chicory fiber, or three-bean dirt-brown chili that will keep you tooting fumes for a week. Instead, Dearest Gluten-Sensitive One, I am going to tease you. I am going to lure you- with a silver fork-worthy dessert recipe totally worth baking this all-too-soon-to-be-upon-us holiday season 2014.
This is a silky, creamy pumpkin cheesecake that begs for a party. Or a family rumpus. One of many last hurrahs as daylight dwindles darkly toward the Winter Solstice low point, flickering her last sigh Northward before the pale glare of January dawns in all her cold and sober glory (and I step- ever so gingerly- on the reality check scale). And maybe sigh. A little hint of a sigh.
Because even though it is pre-Halloween, pre-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas, pre-Hannukah (and all that pre-winter holiday jazz) I can already see that the annual jean shrinkage has begun. You know- that time of year when (mysteriously!) my favorite jeans come damp-dry out of the dryer a size too small. And that familiar jolly pie roll affectionately known as Doris is itching to start rolling her merry way up and out of my favorite black leggings. It's rather comical. And honestly, she makes me smile. I pat her affectionately.
Like a pet bunny.
Because the truth is I am not about to start counting calories.
Though I admit I may
If for nothing else, for the sheer love of shedding old stuck energy. A fresh start feels good.
If you do it with a big dash of humor.
I know from experience that January will ignite the urge to clean out closets, chase those dust bunnies and walk off our collective Doris's. Or would that be Dori, for plural? We'll have ample time, come 2015, for detoxing and courting virtue with ginger laced green soup, and recipes that will encourage our lovely pinchable pie rolls to skedaddle. I promise. I'll be
But this month? Nah.
There's a vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe to share.
Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
Originally published December 2010 by Karina Allrich.This recipe is loosely based on my pre-celiac pumpkin cheesecake recipe. The cheesecake crust is based on my coconut-pecan pie crust recipe from my Pumpkin Praline Pie. Serve slices garnished with fresh berries, if you like. Or mint leaves.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Prepare a 9-inch Springform pan by lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
First, make the cheesecake crust:
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour blend
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
5 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
Place all of the dry ingredients into a food processor bowl and pulse until the mixture looks a bit like coarse sand. Add in the vegan butter and pulse in quick, short bursts until the crumbs are moist and fall away from the sides of the bowl.
Dump the crumbs into the cake pan and spread them evenly. Using your fingers gently press the crumbs across the bottom and up the sides- about half the way up.
Wash out the processor bowl.
For the cheesecake filling:
16 ounces vegan cream cheese (I used 2 8-oz containers Non-GMO Soy Cream Cheese)
14 ounces organic non-GMO silken tofu
1 cup cooked organic pumpkin (canned is fine)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Scoop the vegan cream cheese, soft tofu, and pumpkin puree into the food processor bowl. Add the lime juice, vanilla extract, sugar, tapioca starch, ginger, cinnamon and sea salt. Process until the ingredients form a smooth and creamy pudding-like filling.
Spoon the pumpkin cheesecake filling into the prepared pan. Spread the filling evenly and smooth out the top with a back of a spoon.
Place in the center of a pre-heated oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until golden. Turn the oven OFF. Leave the cheesecake in the cooling oven to set for one hour.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and set it on a wire rack to continue cooling.
When cool, place a piece of parchment paper over the top of the pan and place an inverted dinner plate on top. (This helps to keep condensation from forming and dripping onto the cheesecake.)
Chill the cheesecake for several hours- overnight is even better.
Using a thin flexible spatula or plastic knife, gently loosen the sides of the cake from the Springform pan; release the spring and carefully remove the ring.
Use a thin sharp knife to slice the cheescake. Serve with a dollop of coconut whipped cream, fresh berries, or mint leaves.
Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 10-12
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